San Francisco is a fascinating city in California that offers everything from outstanding arts and culture, to contemporary, culinary excellence that include award-winning restaurants and small neighborhood gems, a rich diversity of communities and events, as well as the world famous icons like the Golden Gate Bridge and the cable cars.
However, being a tourist in San Francisco for even a day can become expensive quite quickly if you take into consideration lodging accommodations, dining, museums, attractions, transportation, etc. Here is a little secret that can lead to big savings. Purchase the San Francisco CityPass ticket booklet! This travel booklet is valid for nine days, starting with the first day of use (Effective March 1, 2017: retail price is $89 for adults and value is $152, a 42% savings). CityPASS also offers booklets for Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle, Southern California, Tampa Bay, and Toronto, Canada.
The 2018 San Fransisco CityPASS includes:
- Three-Day, unlimited-use Muni Passport for Cable Car and Muni transportation, www.sfmuni.com
- California Academy of Sciences (15% off coupon to Academy Store), www.calacademy.org
- Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure, www.blueandgoldfleet.com
- Aquarium of the Bay, www.aquariumofthebay.org
- Exploratorium www.exploratorium.edu OR SFMOMA, www.sfmoma.org.
- Bike the Bridge! Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals and Tours (up to $10 off coupon)
- Bloomingdales and Macy’s shopping coupons
- Pier 39 Free Savings Fun Pack coupon
- Bike the Parks! Parkwide Bike Rentals and Tours, www.parkwide.com
The CityPass booklet provided me with amazing savings when I was traveling in San Francisco this past August. Because I only had four days in this amazing city, I did my best to utilize as much of the booklet as I could, which included taking advantage of the transportation coupons (the three-day, unlimited-use Muni Passport for Cable Car and Muni), as well as several museums.
Having the three-day unlimited Muni Passport definitely came in handy for me in San Francisco, not only in terms of its savings value, but also because I visited the city at a time when walking during my trip had to be limited due to a medical problem. The Muni bus routes and cable cars saved my life, and the avoidance of a lot of walking! The buses themselves are almost always on schedule, are very clean and orderly, and stops are conveniently located throughout the city. It is a great experience to ride the Muni bus for several blocks and just sightsee.
The buses also provide plenty of space for individuals with disabilities and seniors. I found passengers to be very courteous, and even with a fully, packed bus, they always gave up their seats for me so I could sit down.
The cable cars themselves were even more fun than the buses, and even more interesting because they are such an iconic and important piece of San Francisco’s history. Not only is it quite the adventure to ride on an historical cable car, but you also get to experience going down and up the city’s famous steep hills and streets! It was also enjoyable for me when riding the cable cars to watch the conductor operate the car, as well as entertain the passengers with jokes and announcements of stops.
The CityPASS also provided me with savings such as free admission to select museums including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). This San Francisco must-see is not only one of the most prestigious art collections in the US, it is also the largest museum of modern and contemporary art in the United States.
I spent almost an entire day just in this museum. Consisting of six floors of awe-inspiring modern art, there is something for everyone at SFMOMA. One major highlight while I was there was an exhibit of the 20th century Belgian surrealist artist, Rene Magritte, famous for creating witty and thought-provoking images and paintings, such as the Le Blanc Seing and Son of Man. The exhibit was amazing from start to finish including sketches and paintings of Magritte’s I had never seen before, as well as digital animation games to participate in.
I wish I had had more than four days to explore San Francisco while I was there, especially since I had not traveled to the city since 1998. There were so many other amazing offers and savings provided in the San Francisco CityPASS, such as the above mentioned museums and various biking tours. All in all, I made the best use I could out of the booklet during my vacation, and it enhanced my experience in San Francisco to a completely new level. If you plan on taking a trip this year to San Francisco, make sure to purchase the CityPASS booklet for ultimate savings and discounts!
Photos: Jennifer Lunz
To purchase a CityPASS booklet, visit their website. For information on San Francisco attractions offered in the CityPASS booklet, visit the above provided links.